¡Ask a Comida Critic! Was Carl Karcher Really That Much of a Dick?

From Armando:

Gustavo, love your stuff, but I found an obituary you wrote about Carl Karcher, and it was pretty mean. Was he really as big of a dick as you made him out to be?

I don't think I made him out to be too evil. If anything, that obit spelled out my mixed feelings about the founder of Carl's Jr. Let's roll the tape!

carlkarcher.jpg
Karcher: The man, the myth--the dick?
From my obit:

Growing up in Anaheim in the late 1980s, I thought Carl Karcher was God. His signature was on the gift certificate for a free Carl's Jr. kids' meal that elementary teachers gave to students with good grades. My family ate at his restaurants almost weekly, since a Carl's Jr. stands right across Broadway from Anaheim's Central Library. The gentle giant attended Mass daily at my Catholic parish, St. Boniface, always sitting in the front pew. Instead of living far from the burger-eating crowds, Karcher resided in a modest two-story house within walking distance of Latino-heavy Pearson Park. I never mustered the courage to ask for one of the free-hamburger coupons the tycoon kept in his wallet like most of us carry credit-card receipts, but my friends who did always remembered he handed them out with a smile as large as his restaurant's trademark Happy Star.

It was only upon adulthood that I learned about the Karcher reviled by progressives: the CEO fined hundreds of thousands of dollars by the SEC for insider trading; the Lincoln Club co-founder who once told the Los Angeles Times
he thought some of Joe McCarthy's "points were valid"; the fool who not only gave money to support the infamously anti-gay 1978 Briggs Initiative, but who also played the role of ignoramus for decades afterward about it--he once told The Orange County Register that Briggs was meant to prohibit teachers from "indoctrinat[ing] your child into becoming a homosexual," and therefore not "about being anti-gay."

A lot of people weren't happy with my obit, but so be it: There was nothing in my piece that was factually wrong. If I really wanted to pile on, I could've mentioned that Karcher was accused of opposing compensation for Japanese-American World War II internees, or that his son, Father Jerome Karcher, is a dick given he's part of the pedophile-apologist clan that lords over the Catholic Diocese of Orange.

But I do not hate the man--he wasn't as odious as Ray Kroc or as driven by jealousy as Glen Bell. Even in these days, I only think nice thoughts of Karcher, remember how he'd always smile when the poor Mexican kids at St. Boniface constantly pestered him--even during Mass!--for a coupon, and he'd always oblige with a genuine smile. No man who's so kind to children can be an ultimate dick, can he? And I do find it sad how the company was basically stolen from him and has devolved into the bro orgy it is today. C'est la vie, I guess. . . .

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21 comments
BoiseState
BoiseState

Diamond Dog - what an asshole you are.  The article is simply stating facts.  You and other very lowlife racists only care about what color skin the writer might have.  You are the poster children of entitlement.  At least Blacks, Good Whites, Hispanics and Asians work hard for their money.  As opposed to nepotistic, wrong headed un-Christian politicos like you.

TedBKissell
TedBKissell

No links to blatant commercials for other businesses, or you'll get marked as spam.

Thanks!

denimesasx
denimesasx

Gustavo, love your stuff, but I found the obituary you wrote about Carl Karcher, and it was very average. Was it really such a big cock, when he was out?

Cheap Escorts

lindagfoley
lindagfoley

What an article!! Best place to print coupons of major brands is called "Printapons" search online for Printapons

sweetpea
sweetpea

Carl Karcher was a great man. His picture still hangs in my home office and I still fondly remember his always kind words and his biting ones as well. I knew the man personally and attended his funeral. I miss his 7AM phone calls to my office line, as he was already three hours into his work day and pumped on caffine and steaming life from every pore.

Did he have opinions? Yes, those are like assholes and every asshole has one including Gustavo...and me.

If it weren't for Carl, many people who work for me wouldn't have jobs, insurance for their families and a roof over their head. I approached Carl in a hand written note as a snot nosed know it all 24 year old with an idea but no concept or confidence if I could do it. Carl called me the day he got the note, set an appointment with me at his Anaheim office and became a great motivator for me. He explained his story in such amazing detail (the man was nothing short of genius, truly) and blew off other appointments to make sure I understood what he was telling me. Carl felt it his personal goal that I really got his message. He sent me home with personally autographed books ("Never stop dreaming, ____.", handfulls of those famous burger cards and the crazy confidence that I could do it and anything else I set my mind to.

I thought that was the end of it.

Two months later at exactly 7AM Carl called my phone. I was stunned to hear from him and stunned someone was calling my phone at that hour. He was seeing where I was in execution of my plan, helping me pick through tricky steps and set baseline goals.

This friendship went on for years. I built one multi million dollar company that employed many well paid people and Carl would occassionally stun them with a pop in. His gentle giant presence, that huge smile and the rip phone books apart hand shake always warmed them up quickly. When you met him you knew he was a regular guy.

His guidance, thought provoking conversations and motivation by the sheer volcanic energy in his being greatly helped push me along the way. Having a meaningful conversation with Carl was like riding a sailboat in heavy seas with high winds; sometimes exilerating, always thought provoking and somehow you hit dry land with a feeling that you could now do anything. And now, some twenty-ish years later as I build yet another company, I relish those days and conversations. Carl's picture is just over my right shoulder as I type this and I can still hear his booming voice claiming another great day, "Good Morning, it's Carl Karcher!"

As if I didn't know it was him.

The Late Ixo
The Late Ixo

Who established these alleged facts through the same kind of rigorous investigative process that your heirs and attorneys will demand from the obituary writers of mid-21st Century Orange County? When you take a hard look at it, don't many of the allegations come, directly or indirectly, from disgruntled competitors and former employees, writer wannabes trying to sell a book, people looking for something to do because the battery's dead, etc.?

Diamond Dog
Diamond Dog

Karcher may not be perfect. But he will always be a man who made more of a contribution to society than Gustavo can ever hope to do.

Diamond Dog
Diamond Dog

What's with the "Cheap Escorts" link? Maybe is has relevance to your "big cock" statement?

The Late Ixo
The Late Ixo

Hell of a personal statement, sweetpea. We should all be so lucky that we have proteges who think as well of us as you do of Carl Karcher. Thanks for the history.

gustavoarellano
gustavoarellano

Let's see...the SEC fine? Real. The support of the Briggs Amendment? Real. Support of McCarthy? Real. What's "alleged" again?

Kevin H.
Kevin H.

More than you would ever do as well, Diamond Dog.

sweetpea
sweetpea

I've met others in my business travels who knew and worked with Carl and there is always a fondness when the conversation strays to the topic of him. Well respected in business and in kindness as a human is a gross understatement.

Diamond Dog
Diamond Dog

Here is the awful awful awful awful thing Carl did that got him in trouble with the SEC:

"In 1988, Karcher was fined $688,000 for insider trading, after allegedly advising members of his family of the best time to buy stock in the company."

Although I am not excusing this, anyone one of us could be charged by the SEC if we did something like Carl. And that something could be saying something like "I wouldn't buy the stock right now" if you worked at a public company and someone asked you at the Thanksgiving meal "Should I buy some stock in your company right now?" Its just that easy to screw up with Federal Regulators.

Just the other day someone got in trouble at a friends company because a dealer asked for a special price because they specified and found a job first. A competing dealer asked for that same pricing and the manufacturer would not give them the same pricing because they were 2nd to request pricing and wanted to support the dealer that brought them the lead. Next thing you know they have a lawsuit for anit trust violations from the SEC.

But let's say Carl did do what he was charged with . He didn't even make any money on it. He just gave out advice. He made a mistake in judgment . Look how many you, Gustavo, make in yours each day by the trash you write up in a FOOD blog and you can tell its trash by the reader's responses to it. But no one formally charges you and fines you.

So you desecrate all the good things he did to make some left wing, socialistic, political statement in a food blog.

Lets say some money was made in this "insider trading" thing by his family members in 1988. He more than made up for it for the money he donated to various charities and foundations. Readers in this thread have personally recounted personal stories (not just recounting news stories). This is more of a legacy than you will ever leave, Gustavo.

His "Catholic" Church is one of the biggest supporters of Mexicans in need with handouts by the way. Taking care of your system draining brothers and sisters. And whatever they made for this insider trading is far less than what organizations you support like Latino Health Access drain from taxpayer dollars in earmarked spending to only take care of only their own (Mexicans vs everyone).

Andi
Andi

Gustavo, really? How sick is your bias anyway? Again you use this blog to spew your political venom. This is just gross and disgusting behavior on your part.Do you even understand the philanthropic ways of this entire family. I personally know one of Carl's sons and I can tell you the generosity runs very deep. From the people they meet on the street to their children’s friends, to the church and their children’s schools? They are down to earth, good hearted people who have not allowed wealth to spoil their true heart. Carl may have had opinions that you do not agree with, but for you to diminish the good in this man and his family makes me sick. Mercy house here in Orange County benefits greatly from donations made by the Karcher family. Even when Mrs. Karcher passed, the family asked that donations be made the MH on her behalf. MH takes care of homeless here in Orange County and I am sure some of your brethren benefit from those donations among the many, many Catholic charities that the Karchers continue to donate to.You should be ashamed of yourself. This article just makes you look all that more stupid, petty and downright mean.

Diamond Dog
Diamond Dog

Why don't you post the details of the SEC fine and what that case was about? I don't know what it was about, but people hear "SEC fine" from some trouble stirring, sensationalist, ill informed journalist and they think its Gordon Gecko from Wall Street (the movie). You can be fined by the SEC for things like not paying taxes. Just like tons of your Mexican brothers and sisters that don't pay taxes. Although there are tons of Mexicans that do pay taxes, you never see articles in this FOOD column about the Mexicans that are committing tax violations and not getting caught.

Diamond Dog
Diamond Dog

Really? I just closed a deal to supply drinking water kits so people in undeveloped nations can drink safe water. I am providing thousands of kits at no cost to people. I am doing this through one of those evil money making corporate entities that Gustavo likes to trash so much.

What have you done today Kevin H? Or Gustavo?

gustavoarellano
gustavoarellano

I suggest you actually read my article instead of relying on Dog's idiocies!

Diamond Dog
Diamond Dog

Andi,

Unless a charity takes care of Mexicans, they might as well not exist in Gustavo's opinion.

Pat
Pat

so what evil money making corporate entity do you work at and reply to blog postings from regularly? I work at a small business, the supposed backbone of the US economy, as everyone is wont to tell. Keeping your corporate entities afloat, right?

Right.

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